Wedding Etiquette Wedding Tips

Should I Have the Best Man and Maid of Honor Provide Advance Speeches?

best man speechIt’s a situation you’ve run over and over in your head – your best man or maid of honor standing up to address your loved ones with an amazing speech.

You prepare yourself for the inevitable waterworks as your best man or maid of honor smiles lovingly at you, opens his or her mouth…

And then proceeds to tell that wildly embarrassing story from college when you got stuck in a dorm window…for three whole hours.

It’s not exactly a standout moment for your wedding, especially if you’re going for an elegant affair.  And with more best men and maids of honor pressured to provide funny speeches, it’s no surprise they’re crossing the line between funny and just plain cringe-worthy.

Which leaves you to mull over the inevitable question:  Should I have the best man and maid of honor provide their speeches in advance?

Let’s explore the pros and cons of this urgent issue:

  • The benefits of having these crucial members of your wedding party provide their speeches to you in advance are tenfold.  The most obvious reason, of course, is your ability to veto any stories that might embarrass or upset you on what’s supposed to be the happiest day of your life.  If you see that your maid of honor is gearing up to reveal your not-so-flattering childhood nickname or your best man wants to tell a story that’s not fit for Grandma’s ears, gently remind them that while you think the speech is great, it’ll need to be edited due to elderly members of the audience.  It’s a great way to get the edits to stick without hurting his or her feelings.
  • While you may be mulling over the benefit listed above, the drawback to knowing what your best man or maid of honor is going to say at your reception is…well, knowing exactly what they’re going to say!  Best man and maid of honor speeches are meant to be touching tributes – and if you start editing the content, you may be undermining the sentiments expressed in the speeches.

So how do you decide between these very valid arguments?  Simple: consider your audience.  If you have a large number of conservative family members attending your wedding, let your best man or maid of honor know that the speeches need to be PG rated.

Other than that, it’s all fair game…so good luck